Just Read: Viking Voyage

Viking Voyage

Ever thought of building a Viking knarr (a trading vessel wider than a long-ship) and then sailing it along the west coast of Greenland, across the Davis Strait to Baffin Island and down the coast of Labrador to Newfoundland and a possible site of Vinland? Along the way you would be dealing with whales and walruses, icebergs and curious polar bears. You might meet an arctic fox and learn a little about the Inuit people of Greenland. Probably, you would find yourself hanging around waiting for favourable winds and dealing with tensions amongst your fractious crew. You might learn a little about your own limitations as a sailor and a boat builder. Why not do the whole thing in heavy replica Viking garb just to add to the discomfort?

Even if you would never contemplate doing any of these things, I can heartily recommend this very readable book. I suspect it will be the only book you’ll ever read which contains both a recipe for whale stew and also sketchy rules for the Greenlandic card game Kapaka.

(The format of this post is shamelessly lifted from mylogicisfuzzy, which as well as book reviews has posts about walks in and around London and also lots of information about baking. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery they say.)

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Just Read: Viking Voyage

7 thoughts on “Just Read: Viking Voyage

  1. Looks interesting!

    If you’ve never read anything by him, you might look up books by Tim Severin – a writer and explorer who specialises in recreating past voyages in craft made to specifications of the time. His trips include following Jason & The Argonauts, St Brendan and Sinbad, to name a few.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Funnily enough, I almost got around to a previous ‘just read’ post on Tim Severin’s book about Mongolia and I have his Brendan Voyage on my mammoth ‘to read’ pile.

  2. Many of my excursions unfold to imclude unintended drama and sometimes epic happenings, so I get enough of that sort of thing without trying. These guys seem to have inflicted it all on themsleves even before starting, never mind the unplanned vicissitudes during the voyage – that’s real masochism. Anyway, it sounds like a good read and I have put it on my list which is expanding faster than I can read.

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